Friday, September 5, 2014

Dr Who? Experience

After the World SF Convention in London, we took a train to Cardiff in Wales.
The map showed our hotel as a straight shot east of the closest rail station, about 2 or 3 blocks. In real life, the road made an S-curve, and the distance was 4-5 blocks. But we got checked in, and it was still early afternoon. This room had a desk and chair, drawers and a closet!
My husband does not sit quietly well. He decided we should walk ‘into town’ and visit the museum. It was pretty much a straight shot to get there, but distance was a little vague. Well, if I reached the utter end of my endurance, we would have to figure something out.
The center of Cardiff is one big shopping area, no cars allowed, and a wonderful mixture of new buildings among the really old ones. We went through that, and turned a block too soon, but it was simple to correct our aim and get to the museum... 45 minutes before it was scheduled to close!
They had a wonderful section on history of Earth that I had to race through, and I had almost reached the point where people began to evolve when I was told they would close in 5 minutes. Bummer! Now for the walk back.
When I’m getting tired, I count my steps. It simply distracts my mind and keeps a rhythm. When we finally reached the hotel, I pretty much collapsed into a chair in the restaurant for supper. I had made it!
We had tickets for the Dr Who Experience the next morning. Again, the distance was kind of vague (I thought it was about half a mile), and this time, the directions were vague, too. (It wasn’t shown on the map.) “Go into that shopping mall across the parking lot, and just before you get to the theater, turn left, exit the building, follow the path, and you can’t miss it. Happily, the ‘path’ was marked by signs with a Dalek to show us which way to go.
I won’t spoil the experience by telling you much about it. On the other hand, they will probably change it soon, for what we experienced was the Matt Smith doctor. But it did have Daleks, and the Doctor tried to convince them that we were not worth ‘extermination’ because we were obviously an inferior type of human known as ‘shoppers’.
After this entertainment, we were in the museum, where John took lots of pictures. We weren’t allowed to touch anything, but I had John taking close ups of buttons and lace bits, lapel styles... And then it dawned on us - there are no Dr Who costume police! As long as your costume is recognizabe, you are enthusiastically accepted!
Even so, we still analyzed the costumes on display, especially those not made of cloth, like the rubber suit that looked like it had octopus suckers all over it. We could see a small slit (maybe 9 inches) in the lower back, but was that the only opening? Further study revealed the feet were separate, as were the hands, and probably the head as well. I am not eager to wear an entire rubber suit - think sauna - but I am trying to learn to make such prosthetics, so I was happy to study these items.
We could not take a tour of the studio, as the sets were being revamped, getting ready for filming. So that left the souvenir store.
John had a particular shirt he wanted, but he couldn’t find it. Bummer. I found a shirt and a poster for me, and he settled for the sweater vest of Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor. We went to the snack bar for something to drink, then walked back to the hotel, where we had a quiet afternoon as he surfed the net, trying to find the shirt he’d wanted.
We also did not find any jelly babies in the Dr Who shop, although we had found them at Stonehenge and in London. Not finding them in the DW shop was a real bummer!

To me, Cardiff was better than London! Not as crowded, in other words. I enjoyed our brief stay there. At one time, I would have hated the idea of walking that far to see a museum, but this time, I saw it as a challenge, one I managed to survive. And I got the reward of seeing a fantastic display about the History of Earth that I could have spent at least half a day in, if given the chance. The Dr Who Experience was icing on the cake.

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